6/2/2011 - Federal authorities arrest identity theft ring leader in Philadelphia
After three years of investigating an identity theft operation that cost hundreds of people millions of dollars, federal authorities believe they have found their man.
The Justice Department believes 44-year-old Anthony Williams was the ringleader of an operation that involved 16 people. Several of the accused worked for banks and life insurance companies and allegedly sold customers' personal information to Williams.
"[Williams] was the one who actually compromised the accounts, contacted either the credit card issuer or the banks and got either credit cards issued in other people's names or checks sent to addresses he identified as the new address on the account," said assistant U.S. attorney Frank Costello said in an interview with the station.
Officials said the alleged thieves went on a shopping spree with the victims' personal information, charging thousands of dollars at retailers like Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom and Hugo Boss.
According to Javelin Strategy and Research, identity theft still affected more than 8 million people last year.
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